So often we, as Christians working in a hyper competitive marketplace, forget the real reason why we "live and move and exist" (as it says in Acts 17:26). While we can earn a great living through an abundant career, that's not our purpose. It is something so much better and valuable and lasting, it is beyond comprehension.
John 15:16a You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last
Ever Feel Like Ditching Work? I Have!
There are days I go to work and I just don’t feel like being there. In fact, there have been times where dread hit as soon as I got out of bed. There have also been times where I was filled with excitement and joyful anticipation about work, ready to get the day going.
If you are like me, how you feel about work depends on a few key workplace factors:
Employee relations, customer interaction, job fit, annual salary, meaningful labor and work effectiveness are part of everyone’s career puzzle. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you work or what your title. We all ask these same questions because it’s OUR career journey. It’s OUR life journey.
We Don't Go to Work for the Same Reasons as Everyone Else
The great news is this: Christians do not go to work for the same reasons everyone else does. We have a higher calling, a greater purpose, a lifelong mission and it doesn’t center around ourselves. It has a focus toward glorifying God in love toward all those around us.
Yes, I just introduced that four letter word into the career equation: L-O-V-E!
There has been such an emphasis on career growth in the American marketplace that it’s hard to think of our professional life in terms that don’t bow to self. When we think about our work in terms of love, we start out with the mindset of Christ. Think about loving that person who demeans us, loving that greedy Board Chair, loving the unreliable customer support person, loving the customer who seems to hate us, loving, loving, loving. Love covers over a multitude of sin. And when we love, we walk in the path of our loving Savior.
Light of the World
On the way to work, say this prayer: “God, help me to be a bright and shining light in the workplace today. Give me strength to choose a humble response in all circumstances. Guide me to show love to those who don’t know you or even want to know you. Teach me how to be the best Christ-like example I can be in all situations, for your glory.”
In the opening verse above, we are called to bear fruit that will last. The primary fruit of the Spirit is love. We can then ask God, in prayer, for the help to be our best. That is how the opening verse ends:
John 15:16b -and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
What a great promise Christ gives us. As we live up to our appointment in Christ, fulfilling our purpose in bearing fruit that will last, walking as He walked, God will answer our prayers and make things clear for us.
Consider this wonderful promise the next time you head into work and strive to keep this at the forefront.
Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience. He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.
Shawn Sommerkamp, speaking to the Charleston Church of Christ at the New Year's Eve church service Dec 31, 2017.
Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes.
And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for the following:
It’s early January.
The Holidays are over.
It can feel like we go from the ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ to the most challenging time of the year.
A more appropriate lyric, now that it is time to make resolutions & get back to work, could be one of the following…
‘It’s The Most:
- Crazy busy
- Cash poor
- Weight Gaining
…Time Of The Year.’`
It’s not that you are
You want to enjoy it, but
it can feel more like “I just want to get through it.”
Although your MIND knows that God’s will for you (according to 1 Th 5:16-18) is to:
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”
...your HEART can lag behind & this simple command can seem overwhelming.
Sometimes you can put your finger on what’s dragging you down & other times it’s more elusive ~ not really sure what’s keeping things from being ‘Wonderful’.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life. This is easy…right?
A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:
Where is the one place people are least likely to express gratitude? WORK
Based on this survey, that hardest circumstance to give thanks exists in and around the workplace. Isn’t that amazing? The place we spend the most waking hours (about 2,200 hours per year, about 110,000 hours in working lifespan) we aren’t thankful for. Wow!
The truth is our career is not just a way to make a living - it’s a way to transform the world. It’s the place God placed us so that we could make the biggest difference in our service to him.
Do you remember when these 3D-Hidden Object posters
came out? They were quite the RAVE…
They were not what they appeared to be at first glance… If you wanted to understand what the poster was really about, you had to stop what you were doing, get real close to it – focus on it, and back away very slowly… and then – like magic – 3D images would appear / seemingly emerge right off of the paper (3D effect). The embedded 3D images were disguised and hidden to the untrained/unfocused eyes.
Some people (me included sometimes) would get frustrated if we could not see the 3D images fast enough – some were easier than others… and missed the ‘magic’ of the poster.